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In case you somehow hadn’t heard, the NBA has changed the format for the All Star Game this year. Instead of East against West, the top two vote getters will be chosen as team captains and draft their own squads. The next top eight players receiving votes will be selected as starters (four players from the frontcourt and four from the backcourt). After that, the next 14 vote getters will be selected as the reserves.
We here at The 3 Point Conversion thought this sounded like a whole lot of fun, and wanted to get in on the action. So, we decided we would mock draft it for you.
Over the past few weeks, staff writer Allen Fields has been tracking the All Star voting to give us our best bets on what the final All Star rosters will be. Based upon his work, we’ve compiled the following roster pool:
Team Captains: LeBron James (most overall votes), Steph Curry (second most)
Starter Pool: Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid
Reserve Pool: Kristaps Porzinigs, Draymond Green, DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Love, Al Horford, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, DeMar DeRozan, Ben Simmons, Victor Oladipo, Dwayne Wade, John Wall, Manu Ginobili, Chris Paul
For the purposes of the draft, we decided to have two of our other writers play the roles of the two captains. The role of LeBron James will be played by Damian Adams, while the role of Steph Curry will be played by Ab Stanley. Without any further ado, here’s how the draft shook out:
With the first pick, in the 2018 NBA All Star Draft, please welcome to the stage, LeBron James!
LeBron: Before I make my pick, I want to remind everyone that I am LeBron James, still the best player in the world and my team will win because I’m on it. I pick Kevin Durant, the second best player in the world. Dude is a great defender to add to being a ‘7.0″ scorer, with unlimited range.
And with the second pick, please welcome to the stage, Steph Curry!
Steph: Thank you, commissioner. As a member of the World Champion Warriors, I feel like I will pick the best team. I’m gonna take Anthony Davis, arguably the best two way player in the NBA (sorry Kawhi). His offensive versatility makes him an almost unguardable cover…too fast for bigs, too big for wings.
LeBron: That’s a good pick Steph. I will go with the Greek Freak. He is one of the few people who can give me trouble and he can play 1-5 and can play both ends at any position.
Steph: I’m gonna go with Russell Westbrook here. Mr. triple double gives us a chance to have another ball handler and facilitator, plus an immensely talented scorer.
LeBron: Hopefully Russell lets you shoot the ball, Steph. With my next pick I’m taking James Harden, the man you stole your 2015 MVP from. He is unstoppable: 3s, midrange, getting to the rim…he will light you up.
Steph: You’re right LeBron, 2015 brought a couple trophies my way. With my next pick I’m taking another big in Joel Embiid. He is a throwback to the old days of the league. Able to score back to the basket style with an array of post moves (and face up moves) that we haven’t seen in one package for decades.
LeBron: I will take Klay Thompson. He is a great two player and now I’ve taken away your security blanket.
Steph: Great pick, Klay and Kevin are great players. I’m going with another player that showed out in the finals: Kyrie Irving. Remember, your former teammate now front runner to win the east? I’d say he’s the best ball handler in the game (next to me of course). Inside-outside dynamo with great finishing moves at the basket.
LeBron: Great pick. I will take Boogie Cousins. Boogie is a throwback big as well who can step out to the 3 point line and playing with me he will get so many open opportunities.
Steph: I’m going to take Kristaps Porzingis. The Unicorn has all the makings of a young superstar and I’ll take his threes as well as his monster dunks inside.
LeBron: Between you, Kyrie, and Kristaps, you got a few players who are allergic to defense. So I will take the two time defensive player of the year Kawhi Leonard. He can truly do it all.
Steph: I’m allergic to defense? I did lead the league in steals and was top three a few years. But the object to this game is scoring and I will take DeMar DeRozan, the master of the mid range jumper. Long and athletic: don’t step out too hard or else he’ll take you right to the rack. You’ve seen it first hand, ‘Bron.
LeBron: Demar knows about me, I’m the reason he gets put out the playoffs each year. I will take Paul George. I’m just stacking up on great two way players.
Steph: Ok great pick you’ve got a real defensive team brewing. I’m gonna go with the rookie Ben Simmons. What does it feel like to look in a mirror, LeBron?
LeBron: I like Ben, young fella has a lot of potential but he would only be a mirror image of me if the Monstars came and stole my jumpshot. I will take John Wall here, great ball handler and playmaker who is probably the fastest guy in the league.
Steph: Gonna go with CP3. The veteran point still shows the floor vision and scoring ability to get it done. Another ball handler and shooter for my squad.
LeBron: I have lots of respect for my banana boat brother. I’m going to take Victor Oladipo, another two way guy, who has really shown what he can do when not playing with the ball hog, I mean…Russell Westbrook.
Steph: I’m gonna go with the reigning defensive player of the year, my teammate Draymond Green. He will start all the fast breaks we need to get out in front. His energy and bravado will get the crowd going in our favor, too. Plus, I can let him stick you for awhile.
LeBron: Stick me? Don’t make me laugh. I will go with my teammate Kevin Love who is a matchup nightmare due to his inside and outside scoring ability.
Steph: Yeah Draymond does a great job of making you take that fadeaway three you love to miss (cough) take. With my next pick I’ll take your best friend, D Wade. He can still get to his spot and score. Plus I’ve cornered the market on ball handlers/shooters.
LeBron: I wouldn’t say that. I have Harden and Wall, plus the Greek Freak and myself to handle and a bunch of people who can shoot. I will take Al Horford: this guy just knows ball and is always in the right place. His pick and roll/pick and pop with Harden and Wall will kill.
Steph: I’ll take old man Ginoblii the “fourth Quarter turn up.” He’s still kicking at 65. I don’t see how you can shoot with us…3 is worth more than 2 ya know.
BONUS ROUND: We decided to allow each captain to pick one additional player that was snubbed by the fan vote. Because as much as we may appreciate them, Manu Ginobili and Dwayne Wade shouldn’t be All Stars this season.
LeBron: This is a tough decision but I will take Bradley Beal as I already have a bunch of bigs. Beal gives us more shooting and scoring off the bench.
Curry: I’m gonna take Karl-Anthony Towns. At his height and scoring ability I have four of the five most versatile bigs in the game.
There you have it folks, your all star game mock draft, complete with trash talk. As a quick recap, here are your final rosters:
Team LeBron: (Starters) LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden, Klay Thompson. (Bench) DeMarcus Cousins, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, John Wall, Victor Oladipo, Kevin Love, Al Horford, Bradley Beal.
Team Steph: (Starters) Steph Curry, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, Joel Embiid, Kyrie Irving (Bench) Kristaps Porzingis, DeMar DeRozan, Ben Simmons, Chris Paul, Draymond Green, Dwayne Wade, Manu Ginobili, Karl-Anthony Towns.
So how’d we do? We hope you had as much fun with this as we did. Enjoy the All Star Game!